Deventer, The Netherlands (Urban Transport News): The province of Gelderland has awarded Keolis Nederland the operation and maintenance contract for the rail service running between Amersfoort (Utrecht province) and Ede-Wageningen (Gelderland province), in the centre of the country.
The 13-year contract will start in December 2023, generating €150 million in revenue over its duration. During the first two years, the trains will be modernised and redesigned to run under the brand RRReis.
The 34-kilometre intercity rail line known as Valleilijn serves eight stations. The network’s seven electric trains and 35 employees will be taken over by Keolis as of 10 December 2023.
During the first two years of the contract, the trains will be renovated to improve both passenger comfort (wider, more comfortable seats) and journey quality (more powerful Wi-Fi, USB connection points and power outlets). Passenger flows will be optimised by rearranging the train layout and increasing the number of seats.
As well as comfort and timetable reliability, Keolis will focus on the quality of passenger information. The trains will be fitted with an information system located on the outside of the trains to indicate occupancy rates in real time (green, orange, and red). Inside the carriages, a green light above the seats will indicate which seats are free. In addition, to allow for a smoother passenger journey, Keolis will recruit new employees, some of whom will be responsible for passenger service and safety.
Established in the Netherlands since 1999, Keolis is, with this new contract, developing its footprint in the country. The Group already operates the bus networks of the cities of Almere, the province of Utrecht and the Twente region, and three rail networks in the provinces of Overijssel and Gelderland.